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Dovizioso, Hayden give 'lab' Ducati lukewarm verdict
18 June 2013
The latest 'lab version of the Desmosedici GP13 does not provide the step forward Ducati MotoGP racers Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden are seeking.
During back-to-back tests between the standard and lab machine at Catalunya on Monday - to help decide which bike to use at Assen - Dovizioso found them both “very similar”, with Hayden “consistently faster” on the standard version.
“We made back-to-back tests, including some set-up changes with both bikes and new tyres,” explained Dovizioso, speaking in the Catalunya paddock.
“The difference between the bikes is really small. The new chassis is better on entry and the last part of braking. But when we are almost upright we have a little bit more movement, a little bit worse. But it is very similar, as we expected.
“Now we have to decide which bike to use at Assen. For me it is not a problem because it doesn't really make a big difference. Each bike has some positives, some negatives.
“Unfortunately [the lab bike] doesn't solve our problems. We knew that because we already tried the lab bike in testing at Jerez and Mugello. So we will go into Assen in the same situation as here. It is a different track and maybe the colder temperature will help, but the situation is this one.”
Hayden declared the standard bike to be stronger, as he had also found at the previous Mugello test.
“We were here with the lab bike, but unfortunately, I'm consistently faster with the standard version,” he confirmed. “We want to do a step and come closer to the front guys, but at the moment, I can't find it with the lab bike.”
Despite those comments, both Ducati riders finished Monday's test in the top four - Hayden second to Sunday's race winner Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) and Dovizioso just half-a-second from the top.
But their best times were set during short, qualifying-style runs - a situation that suits the Desmosedici.
Dovizioso explained: “Our main problem is pumping [up and down movement at the rear of the bike] and turning the bike. But there are many problems. Some big, some small. If you put every problem together at the end of the lap it is minimum one second and lap-by-lap it becomes bigger because we have to use energy to try to manage the bike.
“With new tyres, with really good grip, we can reduce the gap to the fastest riders because we use the bike a lot on edge. With a lot of lean angle. It is not the best way, but it is the only way for us to try to be faster. So we take more risk because the bike is not turning.
“When you have grip and if you use more energy than normal you can make good speed in the middle of the corner and the braking is also better with more grip on the rear. That is the reason why we can be fast in practice with new tyres. But after a few laps this goes away and the gap becomes bigger.”
One area where Hayden noticed clear Monday progress was in the form of a revised Bridgestone rear tyre.
“We also tested Bridgestone's new hard rear tyre, which has good potential,” he said. “We haven't been able to use their current hard for most of the year, which makes race weekends tough, but I had a good feeling with the new one today and did a 42.4 on it. Hopefully that will give them some direction to help us as the summer gets hotter.”
Hayden fell shortly after overtaking Stefan Bradl for sixth place early in Sunday's race, which Dovizioso finished in seventh.
Ducati Corse general manager Bernhard Gobmeier insisted there had been 'encouraging signs' from the test.
“After the disappointing race yesterday, we had some encouraging signs today. We tested a bunch of new things on the engine side, on the tyre side, and on the chassis side. Regarding the chassis, we're still evaluating the data from the back-to-back comparison, and we'll decide in the next few days which one to use.”Don't miss out! The next round of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship takes place at Assen on June 27-29 - CLICK HERE to see ticket prices from the Official MotoGP Ticket Store.